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October 29, 2006

A Case For The Term 'Islamofascism': How Hebollah killed (Arab) Civilians

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

James G. Zumwalt, a Marine veteran of the Persian Gulf and Vietnam wars, writes in The Washington Times of Hezbollah's incredibly sinister and deadly chess match in the recent Lebanon war, and of their tactical plan calculated to maximize civilian casualties on both sides of battlefield - by design on the Israeli side in targeting its major population centers and by consequence on the Lebanese side as Israel responded:

When the recent Israeli-Hezbollah war ended, the United Nations' newly organized human rights council, pressed by its Islamic members, spent its first two sessions criticizing Israel for allegedly causing heavy civilian casualties. But details are now known of a secret Hezbollah operation, mounted long before the war and focused, in violation of international law, on putting civilians at risk, that significantly contributed to this toll once the fighting began.

By way of background, in the early 1980s, Syria, which then controlled Lebanon, reluctantly allowed a group of 500 Iranian Revolutionary Guards into the Lebanese city of Baalbek, providing the seed from which Hezbollah sprang forth. Funded by Tehran, this terrorist organization began currying favor with the local population, providing many social services. Thus, when the popular Hezbollah secretly embarked upon activities with a more sinister purpose -- putting a Lebanese citizenry at risk it purportedly sought to protect in order to gain tactical advantage against Israel in any future conflict -- the local population blindly accepted this activity without knowledge of what it involved.

The activity upon which Hezbollah had embarked was conversion of private homes into mini-military sites from where it could easily target Israel's civilian population. Cloaking itself as the protective shepherd, Hezbollah effectively prepared an unwitting Lebanese civilian flock as sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered in furtherance of its own war-fighting capabilities.

Read more of "Deadly Hezbollah chess match."

In case you doubt the veracity of Zumwalt's piece, note that it is substantiated by reports that in some instances Hezbollah actually prevented civilian departures from the war front in Southern Lebanon precisely in order to increase casualty rates. This predisposition of an extremist political movement such as Hezbollah and radical Islam in general, to feint the defense of a people while in fact disregarding the lives of the people - "is a symptomatic feature of totalitarian mentalities: neither Hitler nor Stalin cared much about the numbers of their own who were lost":

... The connection between war and welfare--schools on top of bunkers--is intriguing and reminiscent of other "guns and butter" debates. So is the simultaneous suggestion that Hezbollah merely instrumentalizes the local population: it may claim to be fighting in the name of some population, in order to invoke a democratic legitimacy, but in fact it only uses the locals as human shields. Hence also the reports that in some instances Hezbollah has prevented civilian departures from the warfront in Southern Lebanon precisely in order to increase casualty rates. One notes similarly the willingness to tolerate deaths when its own missiles hit Israeli Arabs. This predisposition of an extremist political movement to argue, occasionally, with a democratizing rhetoric (defending a people) while in fact disregarding the lives of the people is a symptomatic feature of totalitarian mentalities: neither Hitler nor Stalin cared much about the numbers of their own who were lost.

... The international community, the United Nations, and the opinion-page authors of the press delude themselves into believing that the conflict is only about rational questions--where the borders of which state will run--as if a resolution of such technical matters would usher in an era of perpetual peace. That enlightenment optimism however has proven itself to be stunningly ineffective facing the durability of violence (although perhaps no more ineffective in the Middle East than in Darfur or in North Korea or . . .). Yet this conflict, on a more profound level, has to do with images and practices of sacrifice, replete with competing religious traditions (institutionalizations of the sacred), so it should come as no surprise that UN resolutions or shuttle diplomacy or aspirations for rational consensus have little impact. In fact, the sacrality of sacrifice is a crucial component of the war--both in terms of the inflection of the clash of civilizations between radical Islamicism and western modernity and (what is becoming increasingly clear) even within the intra-Islamic dialectic between Shia and Sunni. Lebanon is where this all is played out, for now; whether Lebanon will turn out to be a "Spanish Civil War," prelude to a larger conflagration between the West and a nuclear Iran, remains to be seen.

... The problem of sacrifice defines the competition between Islamicism and the West, as the Madrid bombers' message made gruesomely explicitly: "You love life but we love death."

... The Islamic revolution may be operating through the state structures of Iran (and there may well be moderating political forces within that state bureaucracy), but its Islamicism is apocalyptic. Its goal is not peace and stability but rather martyrdom as the path to ultimate reward. Hezbollah was not a "state within a state," i.e., a political unit that might have pursued secession; it is an "anti-state," profoundly hostile to the compromises politics necessarily entails. Its goal instead is surpassing the "scum of creation." For the West, the question becomes whether the traditional aspiration for a "good life" retains enough credibility as an alternative to holy death--or are we afraid of "value judgments" even on this? (More)

Of one thing we can all be sure. The world is embroiled in a religious war, one of Islam against Western culture, Western society, Western values, and of Islam against all other religions. It is a war of Islam's brand of fascism, and this Islamic fascism must be defeated if Western civilization is to survive. However, bullets, bombs, and rockets can carry the West only so far in this war against Islam (or radical Islam if you prefer). In order to truly defeat the Islam of war (radical?), the West must recognize that Islam is a religion of war and of faith, and that the West had best regain its own faith and values that it has been so quick to abandon, and eliminate the void that is rapidly being filled by the fascist Islam and the Islam of war, hate, intolerance, and violence upon all those who do not believe as the Islamists do - the infidels, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Remember, as with Hezbollah, we are all sacrificial lambs in their war against we who do not follow their particular brand of "Allah."

For more on the threat of radical Islam and Islamic fascism, watch this video:

Suggested reading: Sacrifice and Martyrdom in Lebanon: The Religious Contents of Hezbollah's War

HT - The Reality Show

Posted by Abdul at October 29, 2006 7:31 AM

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